18 Types Of Potatoes And The Dishes They Belong In

Few foods have captured people's hearts worldwide quite like the humble potato. Originating in South America as far back as 10,000 years ago and making its way to Europe in the 16th century, the potato has evolved from a staple food to a vehicle for an endless array of flavors and textures. Whether you crave velvety smooth mashed potatoes, golden crispy fries, or a comforting oven-baked spud, potatoes regularly find their way onto our plates. But did you know that choosing the right type of potato for your dish is the key to achieving culinary success?

Why does it matter, you may ask? Different varieties of potatoes contain different amounts of starch, and this subtle difference can dramatically change how they behave when cooked. If you choose the wrong type, it could lead to disaster! A gloopy mashed potato has ruined many a dinner party.

So, grab your potato masher and join us as we examine 18 varieties of potatoes and the best dishes to make with each.

The main types of potato

More than 200 potato varieties are available in the United States, and as many as 5,000 worldwide. However, they can all be broadly categorized into three different types – waxy, starchy/floury, and all-purpose.

Waxy potatoes have thin skins and a firm texture and are great at keeping their shape during cooking. This makes them ideal for dishes where you want potato chunks to remain in the final dish. They are sturdy and less likely to fall apart, making them the perfect choice for potato salads and slow-cooked casseroles (via Great British Chefs).

Starchy potatoes, on the other hand, fluff up beautifully when cooked, meaning they lose their shape but make excellent comfort food. Their high starch content means they soak up different flavors perfectly, whether it's a rich gravy soaking into mash or a buttery topping on your baked potato.

The final category sits right in the middle — all-purpose potatoes. These versatile spuds can cope with most culinary challenges, keeping their shape reasonably well but also capable of making a mash that doesn't turn into glue. It's worth having a bag of all-purpose potatoes on standby if you're unsure which potato delights you will be whipping up.

Keeping these three categories in mind, let's look at the personalities of individual potato varieties and the distinctive qualities that each brings to the plate.

Jersey Royal

Jersey Royals are a type of small, waxy potato grown on the island of Jersey in the English Channel. The island's climate is perfect for potato growth, making the Jersey Royal a prized spud and the only crop of the British Isles to receive EU protected designation of origin (PDO) status (via Jersey Royals). Their delicate skin is so thin it can be rubbed off easily with no need for peeling.

With their nutty flavor and firm texture, Jersey Royals taste fantastic simply boiled and served with a twist of salt and a knob of butter. If you're looking to give a bit more pep to your Jersey Royals, they make a fabulous potato salad.

To make the perfect Jersey Royals potato salad, make sure to cook your potatoes until they are just tender and not overcooked. Though Jersey Royals keep their shape well, they will begin to turn to mush if you overcook them, which is not a good look for your potato salad. Running cold water over the potatoes after they have boiled will help to prevent them from overcooking.

Check out our delicious potato salad recipe for inspiration on what to put in your potato salad mix.

Yukon Gold

If there were a gold medal up for grabs for the most versatile potato, the Yukon Gold would definitely be looking for a podium finish. This lovely little spud tastes as good as it looks, its buttery flesh matching its golden skin. As an all-purpose potato, it can be used in most potato dishes, keeping its shape while becoming fluffy at the same time. The only issue is that Yukon Golds are often more expensive than other potatoes, meaning you may wish to save them for special dishes.

If you're looking to create a show-stopping dish, Yukon Golds are the perfect spud to use in potato dauphinoise, also known as scalloped potatoes. Their creamy texture is the ideal fit for this indulgent side dish, which perfectly accompanies red meat.

For the best scalloped potatoes, slice the spuds as thinly as possible with a mandoline if you have one. This will give you uniform layers of potato, meaning the dish will cook evenly. When baking your dish, cover it with foil for the majority of the cooking time, then remove it toward the end. This will give you the perfect golden crunchy topping without burning.

Why not try our spinach and artichoke scalloped potatoes for a more nutritious version of this sumptuous dish?


When it comes to starchy potatoes, Russets rule the roost, especially in the United States. Also known as Idaho potatoes, these brown-skinned, starchy tubers are the go-to potato for many, creating super-smooth mash and delightfully crispy fries. Their high-starch content means they absorb lots of flavors, so our dish of choice for the mighty russet is a loaded baked potato. Although loaded jacket potatoes are traditionally slathered with sour cream and cheese, if you're looking to mix up your weekday dinners, why not experiment with some vegan toppings instead?

Some delicious homemade guacamole will provide the creamy element to your potato while giving a nutritious boost of healthy fats and vitamins. Alternatively, whizzing up some beans with fresh herbs and olive oil will produce a deliciously smooth topping that will pair perfectly with the fluffy potato. Finally, give your jacket potato a kick by drizzling some hot sauce over the toppings before serving.

To make a baked potato that is both crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, there are a few essential tips to follow. Bake your potato directly on the baking rack to ensure the base crisps up nicely. You can rub some olive oil and salt into the skin for extra crispiness before cooking. After cooking, fluff the inside of the potato with a fork, ensuring it will soak up the flavor from your awesome toppings.


If you are looking to add color to your potato dishes, Desiree potatoes are a terrific way to do so. With their delicate red skins, these Dutch potatoes will add a dash of flair to any dish — as long as you keep their skins on, of course. As an all-rounder, you can use the Desiree variety for most potato dishes, including crunchy potato wedges or creamy mash. They make a nice twist on a potato salad, too, with their rosy skins complementing the white of the mayonnaise mixture perfectly.

If you're seeking a delectable meal that truly showcases the beauty and flavor of Desiree potatoes, you should consider trying them in a potato casserole. The tender texture of the Desiree potatoes, combined with layers of flavorful ingredients and a golden crust, creates a truly irresistible dish. Whether you opt for a classic cheesy potato casserole or experiment with unique flavor combinations, Desiree potatoes will elevate your casserole to new heights.


If you're looking for a potato with both versatility and flavor, the Kennebec makes a great choice. This all-rounder spud — bred in the United States in Maine — is a popular choice among chefs and home cooks alike. Their smooth, buttery texture and high starch content mean they are equally adept at keeping their shape when boiled or making a beautiful creamy mash. They also excel when it comes to soaking up other flavors, making them an ideal choice for a loaded potato or even a casserole. Where Kennebecs really shine, though, is their ability to transform into mouthwatering french fries.

To make the best French fries, try soaking them in water for 30 minutes before frying them. This will remove excess starch and give you the perfect crunch. Just remember to dry them thoroughly before frying.

If you're looking for a healthier version that will still keep you coming back for more, try these baked French fries instead.

Red bliss

Red bliss potatoes are a delightful variety that brings both flavor and charm to your culinary adventures. These small, round potatoes have a thin red skin that adds a pop of color to your potato dishes. Red bliss potatoes are known for their creamy texture and slightly sweet, earthy flavor. They hold their shape well when cooked, making them perfect for roasting, boiling, or even steaming.

Consider making a fondant to take advantage of the wonderful qualities of red bliss potatoes. Don't be intimidated by this seemingly challenging dish; as long as you are patient, you will end up with a mouthwatering dish for any dinner party.

The key to a perfect fondant is to crisp up the potato in a pan before simmering in the broth. This will create a crunch layer that will complement the softness of the rest of the fondant perfectly. Adding fresh herbs will also elevate the potato to another level.

Purple Majesty

Bring a touch of royalty to your kitchen with the beautiful Purple Majesty potato. While some purple potatoes have only purple skins, these colorful wonders are a deep shade of purple throughout, meaning they make an eye-catching addition to any dish. Their rich purple color is due to the presence of anthocyanins — a group of natural pigments known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (via Healthline). This means these attractive potatoes will provide a nutritious boost to your meal while adding an artistic flair.

Using purple majesty potatoes to create a creamy mash will result in a visually impressive side dish that will taste as good as it looks. Since purple majesty potatoes are less starchy than more traditional mash choices, such as russets, you will need to add more butter and cream to be sure the texture is velvety. Hand mashing is advised since over-mixing with a blender can cause a gluey texture, but the effort will be worth it to create a beautiful bowl of purple perfection.

Maris Piper

One of the best-known and most popular potatoes in the U.K. is the Maris Piper. With a smooth golden skin and creamy flesh, this all-rounder potato is known for its incredible versatility.

First grown in England in the '60s, Maris Pipers are now considered a culinary staple, capable of producing a wide variety of potato dishes, including crispy roasters and silky mash. Due to their excellent ability to absorb flavor, Maris Piper potatoes are a great choice for a one-tray roast such as a roast chicken and potato bake.

The key to a perfect one-pot roast is to season the meat, vegetables, and potatoes generously before placing the chicken on top to ensure the fat will drip down and flavor the potatoes below. Adding garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme before roasting will further lift the flavor.

During cooking, remove the pan regularly and baste the chicken and potatoes in the chicken juice to ensure the Maris Pipers absorb as much flavor as possible. The resulting succulent chicken and perfectly infused potatoes will be a treat for your tastebuds.

Russian banana fingerling

With their elongated shape and sunny-colored flesh, Russian banana fingerlings will catch your attention with more than just their name. Although native to Europe, they are now widely grown in the United States and are a pleasure to cook with. They are also nutritionally rich, boasting a high potassium content, like their fruity namesakes.

When it comes to flavor, Russian banana fingerlings are a delight. With their rich, nutty-tasting flesh and delicate golden skins, these potatoes shine in various dishes. Whether roasted with olive oil and woody herbs or boiled and simply served with a knob of butter, they hold their shape well and make a great side dish for any meat or fish.

To make the most of these blond super spuds, try pan-frying them with onions to create a delicious crispy combination. Crisping up the flesh in a pan will make the Russian banana fingerlings look fantastic, and the flavor of the onions will make sure they taste as good as they look.

King Edward

Named to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII, these majestic spuds are one of the oldest potatoes in Europe and are known for their culinary versatility. King Edward potatoes may be a feast for the eyes with their golden skin and creamy white flesh, but they don't fall short in the flavor department either.

As an all-rounder potato, the buttery flavor of King Edwards shines through in most potato dishes. Whether you're looking for a smooth, creamy mash or a fluffy jacket potato, King Edwards will not let you down. When it comes to roasting, they are in a class of their own — keeping their shape well and crisping up beautifully.

To mix things up, try using King Edward potatoes to make light potato gnocchi. For a fluffy texture, keep the skins on the potatoes while boiling to prevent them from becoming water-logged. You can then remove the skins before mashing and mixing with flour to create the dough.

Try these delicious, nutrient-packed beetroot gnocchi for a healthy twist on the Italian classic.


With their soft sand-colored skin and buttery yellow flesh, Charlotte potatoes exude a sense of refinement. But it's not just their appearance that sets them apart — their flavor is equally enchanting. They have a subtle, nutty flavor that brings sophistication to any humble potato dish. They are the perfect choice for a potato salad, soaking up the beautiful flavors of fresh herbs, homemade mayonnaise, and tangy dressing.

However, the versatility of Charlotte potatoes extends beyond salads. They can also be used to make a classic dinner party item with visual appeal — hasselback potatoes. By making equally spaced cuts along the back of the potato — making sure not to cut all the way through — these beautiful spuds will open up during cooking to create eye-catching, delicious morsels with crispy skins and fluffy middles.

To elevate your hasselback potatoes even further, check out this recipe for a garlic and cheese version.

All Blue

As the name suggests, all blue potatoes have a vibrant deep blue color that extends through the whole potato, allowing you to create a work of art with your potato dishes. Rich in potassium and anthocyanins, they are more nutritious than your average tuber. These striking potatoes deliver on the flavor front as well, with a rich, earthy flavor that can hold its own against other strong ingredients. With their waxy texture, all blue potatoes can be used in a number of ways, including boiling or roasting.

Because of their unusual color, all blue potatoes make a unique addition to any dish and look particularly good alongside other colorful ingredients. Try roasting them alongside carrots, tomatoes, beetroot, and zucchini for a roasted rainbow of flavor that's as nutritious as it is beautiful.

Pair it with this delicious sugar-baked salmon for a colorful one-tray wonder that makes the perfect midweek meal.

German Butterball

Native to Germany but growing in popularity across the United States, German Butterball potatoes will make a great addition to your spud repertoire. These round potatoes have a waxy flesh but are incredibly versatile and can even make a surprisingly good creamy mash, despite their low starch content. When cooked perfectly and combined with a little butter and milk, these potatoes create a heavenly side dish to complement a variety of meals. Their buttery flavor enhances the richness of the mash, making each spoonful a satisfying delight.

But the German Butterball has even more to offer in the form of delectable roast potatoes. If you're looking for a crunchy exterior and fluffy middle, you won't be disappointed. Why not try roasting them whole, then stuffing them with cheese, sour cream, and bacon? The result is a balanced blend of textures and flavors that will leave your taste buds tingling.

La Ratte

Prepare to meet a lesser-known potato that will soon be on your list of firm favorites: La Ratte potato. With its unique characteristics, this potato variety is bound to tantalize your taste buds. First grown in the 19th century in France, this special spud is also known as La Reine and Asparges (via Chefin). Considered a premium potato in France, La Ratte is beginning to appear on the radar of chefs and enthusiastic home cooks across the globe.

In French cuisine, La Ratte potato is highly regarded, and its ability to hold its shape when cooked makes it perfect for salads, gratins, and roasting. Whether you're looking to elevate a simple salad or create an impressive side dish, La Ratte won't disappoint.

To bring out the sweet flavor of La Ratte potatoes, try sautéing them with garlic and herbs such as thyme and oregano and serving them alongside your favorite meat or fish dish.

Shetland Black

It's time to dive into the world of unusual and fascinating potatoes with the Shetland Black! With their dark, almost black skin, these remarkable spuds hold a mysterious allure that will leave you curious and craving a taste.

Originating from the picturesque Shetland Islands, these potatoes are a sight to behold. Their striking appearance alone is enough to capture anyone's attention, but it's their flavor that truly steals the spotlight. Boiling or steaming these beauties keeps their natural nutty flavors intact, making them a perfect addition to salads or a delectable side dish for any main course.

However, roasting Shetland Black potatoes brings out the sweetness of their flesh, and the skins will caramelize beautifully. Cutting them in half will reveal their distinctive purple ring that will be eye-catching and bring intrigue to your plate. 

Whether enjoyed in salads, as a side dish, or showcased through roasting, these remarkable spuds will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression and ignite your curiosity for the extraordinary.

Yellow Finn

Let's explore the world of Yellow Finn potatoes, a versatile and delicious variety that will elevate your culinary experiences. With their silky golden skin and buttery yellow flesh, these spuds will bring a touch of sunshine to your plate.

Originating in Europe, they have a waxy texture, meaning they keep their shape well when cooked. Their lower starch content makes them the ideal choice for creating a hearty potato salad or steaming them to accompany a fish dish.

You can use Yellow Finn potatoes in a traditional stew for a more substantial meal. When cooking an old-fashioned stew, the vegetables and potatoes are cooked alongside the meat, so you need a potato that can cope with long cooking times without turning to mush. Yellow Finn potatoes will soften beautifully in the gravy without breaking down completely, making them the perfect choice. The result will be a succulent, comforting stew with perfectly cooked potatoes that complement the meat brilliantly.


Sebago potatoes are a classic all-rounder and a staple in many store cupboards. A firm favorite in Australia, these versatile spuds are also popular in the southern United States.

Sebago potatoes may be more ordinary in appearance than some of the unique varieties we've already looked at, but they make up for it in versatility and flavor.

Whether you're looking to mash them and mix with butter and cream, roast them to golden perfection, or fry them into crispy delights, Sebago potatoes are up for the challenge. They're like a blank canvas waiting for your culinary creativity to shine.

If you are looking to make a delicious fishcake, Sebago potatoes are a great choice. Their subtle flavor and high starch content mean they can soak up the flavors of your chosen fish while providing the perfect texture. With a squeeze of lemon and a fresh side salad, you will have the perfect gourmet lunch or easy midweek supper.

French Fingerling

Prepare yourself for a delightful gastronomic journey with French fingerling potatoes, the small but mighty spuds that pack a flavorful punch! These little beauties may be tiny, but their taste and charm are anything but small. Named due to their resemblance to long fingers, the French version is longer than most other fingerling varieties and has a yellow flesh with pink patches.

With their waxy texture, French fingerling potatoes hold their shape well and are a great option for boiling, steaming, or pan-frying and make an excellent potato salad. But to get the very best out of them, try roasting them whole with strong flavors such as garlic and rosemary.

For ultimate crispiness, arrange them in a single layer on a baking tray, generously douse them with oil and seasonings, and let the magic unfold in the oven. The resulting golden crust and soft center will make every bite a satisfying delight.